Peng Wang

  Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Engineering ​

  Office Location: Al Jazri (Building 4) · Level 4 · Room 4233
  Faculty lab website:

Research Keywords
Nanomaterials; photocatalysis; water purification; water splitting; porous materials; surface wettability; smart materials

Research Interests
General Overview
Tunable physical, chemical, optical, electrical, mechanical, thermal, and magnetic properties of nanomaterials inspire innovation and thus provide unprecedented opportunities for solving grand environmental challenges, such as environmental pollution, water scarcity, energy shortage, of our time in a sustainable way. KAUST Environmental Nanotechnology group conducts application-oriented research and has a clear research focus on Rational Design of Environmental Nanomaterials for Clean Water and Energy Production. 

Specific Research Interests
i. Photoelectrocatalysis and photocatalysis for water splitting and water contaminant destruction  
ii. Interfacial materials for water collection, oil/water separation, oil spill cleanup, anti-fouling surfaces, etc.
iii. Pore size modulation and multifunctionalization of nanoporous materials for water purification


Main Techniques
Hydrothermal synthesis, anodization, surface wettability characterization, electrochemistry, photoeletrochemistry, polymer grafting

Members of the Lab

Dr. Lianbin Zhang: Research scientist focusing on developing surface modification methods to fabricate smart surfaces with controllable surface wettability for water collection and oil/water separation. Dr. Zhang obtained his PhD from Jilin University in China. 

Dr. Jinbo Wu: Postdoc researcher focusing on surface patterning techniques for sensor development.  Dr. Zhang obtained his PhD from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). 

Dr. Xiulin Yang: Postdoc researcher focusing on nanomaterials for water splitting by (photo)electrocatalysis and energy conversion. Dr. Yang obtained his PhD from Chinese Academy of Sciences in China.

Mr.  Rubal Dua: PhD student focusing on porous carbon materials for advanced environmental applications. Rubal obtained his bachelor degree for India Institute of Technology (IIT) and his master degree from University of Pennsylvannia.

Ms. Elaf Ahmed: PhD student focusing on anodized TiO2 nanostructures for water pollutant reduction. Elaf obtained her bachelor from King Abdulaziz University and her master degree from KAUST.

Selected Publications
Dua, R., Estevez, L., Bhandari, N., Ramanujapuram, A., Wang, P.,* Giannelis, E.P.* A facile approach for the synthesis of monolithic hierarchical porous carbons - high performance materials for amine based CO2 capture and supercapacitor electrode, Energy & Environmental Science, 2013, 6, 1785-1790.

Dua, R., Zhang, Z.H., Zhang, L.B., Zhu, H.B., Zhang, H.N., Wang P.* Carbon layer protected cuprous oxide nanowire arrays for efficient water reduction, ACS Nano, 2013, 7(2), 1709-1717.

Zhang, Z.H., Zhang, L.B., Hedhili, M.N., Zhang, H.N., Wang P.* Plasmonic gold nanocrystals coupled with photonic crystal seamlessly on TiO2 nanotube photoelectrodes for efficient visible light photoelectrochemical water splitting, Nano Letters, 2013, 13(1), 14-20.

Zhang, L.B., Cha, D.K., Wang, P.* Remotely controllable liquid marbles, Advanced Materials, 2012, 24, 4756–4760.

Zhang, Z.H., Wang, P.* Optimization of photoelectrochemical water splitting performance on hierarchical TiO2 nanotube array, Energy & Environmental Science, 2012, 5, 6506-6512.

Zhang, L.B., Zhang, Z.H., Wang, P.* Smart surfaces with switchable superoleophilicity and superoleophobicity in aqueous media: toward controllable oil/water separation, NPG Asia Materials, 2012, 4, e8; doi:10.1038/am.2012.14.